Division of Languages and Literature

Division of Languages and Literature

Languages and Literature Faculty

Scottye Battle
Assistant Professor of English and Special Education
BA, California State University, Long Beach; MA, New Jersey City University

David Cutts
Department Chair of Humanities, Assistant Professor of English 
BA, University of Warwick; MA, PhD, University of Miami

Winston Groman
Assistant Professor of Spanish
BA, Brown University; MA, Harvard University

Alison Mahone
Assistant Professor of Spanish
BA, Rutgers University; MEd, St. Peter’s University

Carolyn Marcille
Assistant Professor of World Literature and Criticism
BA, SUNY Fredonia; MA,  Buffalo State College; Doctorate, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Michael L. Murray
Assistant Professor of English
BA, George Mason University; MA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; M.L.I.S., Rutgers University; A.M., PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Shana Russell
Assistant Professor of English
BA, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; MA, Simmons College; PhD, Rutgers University

Celestine Woo
Assistant Professor of English
BA, Pomona College; Ph.D. New York University

Biyuan Yang
Assistant Professor of Chinese
BA, China Central University of Nationalities; MS, University of Bridgeport; PhD, New York University

Juan Yu
Assistant Professor of Chinese
BA, Huanggang Normal University, China; MA, Durham University, England

Languages and Literature Courses

High School Language Courses

BARD063  Introduction to Language

This one-semester course gives students an opportunity to explore multiple world languages, with the goal of making an informed choice as to what language to continue studying for the next five semesters.  Beyond that, students gain a nuanced understanding of each language studied, and from that, a greater understanding of the broader functions of language.  Additionally, a unit focusing on English grammar and usage prepares students for the grammatical understanding of English necessary for studying world languages effectively in an American context.

BARD064  Spanish 9

BARD065  Spanish 10, Part I

BARD066  Spanish 10, Part II

This introductory sequence in the Spanish language presents the foundational skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, within a context of the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world.  Students learn fundamental grammatical structures and vocabulary, but they also explore how Spanish is distinctive as a language, and as a cultural phenomenon.  Excerpts from Spanish music, film, and literature are used as real-life examples in experiencing Spanish.  As the sequence progresses, students are exposed to a broader scope of uses and applications of the language, and they develop the ability to use Spanish with greater independence in more natural settings.

BARD067  Chinese 9

BARD068  Chinese 10, Part I

BARD069  Chinese 10, Part II

This introductory sequence in the Chinese language presents the foundational skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, within a context of the cultural diversity of the Chinese-speaking world. Students learn fundamental grammatical structures and vocabulary, but they also explore how Chinese is distinctive as a language, and as a cultural phenomenon.  In addition to textbook materials, the course is supplemented with real-life examples from Chinese cultural artifacts.  As the sequence progresses, students expand their range of vocabulary and structures, with the goal of using Chinese to accomplish everyday tasks in real-life settings.

College Language Courses

BARD073/SPAN101N Beginning Spanish I

This course introduces students to the basics of Spanish pronunciation and grammar through both conversational and written exercises.  In addition to exploring the Spanish language, students will also gain a deeper understanding of English grammar, and grammar and language more broadly, through this course.  Aspects of Spanish culture are also explored.  The content coverage is similar to that in the three-semester sequence of Spanish 9, 10/I, and 10/II, but at the more rapid pace expected of college-level introductory language study.

BARD074/SPAN102N Beginning Spanish II

BARD075/SPAN201N Intermediate Spanish I

BARD076/SPAN202N Intermediate Spanish II

This sequence in high beginning and intermediate Spanish grammar, composition and conversation aims to solidify students’ command of grammar and increase their fluency in spoken and written Spanish. Students at all points in the sequence are also introduced to the analysis of literary and non-literary texts, cinema and other cultural artifacts.  Various text and media sources, including literature, film, music, and popular culture, are used to access contemporary topics in Hispanic culture and to foster conversation and composition writing. Students will participate in class discussions in Spanish, complete grammar exercises, and write compositions of progressive length and complexity.

BARD079/CHI101N Beginning Chinese I

This course introduces students to the basics of Chinese pronunciation, grammar, and character writing through both conversational and written exercises.  In addition to exploring the Chinese language, students will also gain a deeper understanding of English grammar, and grammar and language more broadly, through this course.  Aspects of Chinese culture are also explored.  The content coverage is similar to that in the three-semester sequence of Chinese 9, 10/I, and 10/II, but at the more rapid pace expected of college-level introductory language study.

BARD080/CHI102N Beginning Chinese II

BARD081/CHI201NIntermediate Chinese I

BARD082/CHI202N Intermediate Chinese II

This sequence in high beginning and intermediate Chinese grammar, composition and conversation aims to solidify students’ command of grammar and increase their fluency in spoken and written Chinese.  The reading and writing focuses on traditional Chinese characters, with increasing attention over time to simplified forms as well.  Students at all points in the sequence are introduced to various authentic texts and artifacts.  Various text and media sources, including literature, film, music, and popular culture, are used to access contemporary topics from throughout the Chinese-speaking world.  The cultural activities also foster conversation and composition writing and grammar practice. Students will participate in class discussions in Chinese, complete grammar exercises, and write compositions of progressive length and complexity.

BARD083       College Advanced Chinese (Ms. Yu)

Advanced Chinese is a continuation from Intermediate Chinese and will cover the following: 1) review two contemporary Chinese television shows. 2) Keep up and discuss current events from Mainland China as well as international events from the Chinese and American mindsets. 3) Have a fundamental understanding of Tang dynasty poetry as well as elementary classical Chinese texts. 4) Be able to read and discuss short essays by contemporary novelists, such as Lu Xun (鲁迅), Lao She (老舍), Mao Dun (茅盾), Qian Zhongshu (钱钟书), and others. A scrutiny of these subjects and each’s associated vocabulary, sentence structures, and cultural backgrounds will further enhance students’ listening, comprehension, and ability to interact with modern Chinese society. An additional focus will be on listening and comprehension in preparation for the HSK (汉语水平考试) or the Standardized Chinese Proficiency Exam, with an aim of level 4 and 5 out of 6.

High School Literature Courses

BARD001  English 9: Literature of the Americas I

BARD002  English 9: Literature of the Americas II

This two-semester sequence, organized by genre, covers essays, poetry, classic novels, dramas and short stories from the Americas.  Students learn how to construct thesis-centered analytical essays in response to a variety of literary genres.  In so doing, they learn how to present and interpret quotes, and to articulate the larger significance of the quotes to the text; how to organize their ideas in a clear, logical and coherent sequence; and how to revise and edit their essays in order to clarify and deepen their arguments and ideas, and to do so in appropriate style, diction, and voice.  Students will learn how to generate deeper and more complex responses to texts by engaging in a variety of informal writing routines and seminar-style discussions.

BARD003  English 10: World Literature I

BARD004  English 10: World Literature II

This two-semester sequence, organized regionally, covers essays, poetry, classic novels, dramas and short stories from Europe, China and its East Asian environs, regions within Africa, and other selected areas.  Students build on their work from English 9, by constructing thesis-centered analytical essays in response to a variety of literary genres, while reflecting regional divergences and confluences.  Students expand their skills in presenting and interpret quotes, and to articulate the larger significance of the quotes to the text; organizing their ideas in a clear, logical and coherent sequence; and revising and editing their essays in order to clarify and deepen their arguments and ideas in appropriate style, diction, and voice.  Students will generate deeper and more complex responses to texts by engaging in a variety of informal writing routines and seminar-style discussions.

College Literature Courses

BARD013      College Topics in Literature: Reading and Writing Poetry 

Students will explore poetry and poetics through many reading, writing, and performing assignments.  Close attention will be paid to learning from our own work, learning from the work of our colleagues, and learning from the work of published poets. Readings will include the work of contemporary and traditional poets, especially as tools for increasing our understanding of the study, as well as the craft, of poetry. Assignments will include analytical responses to poetry, portfolios of our own work, responses to the work of our peers, and reflections on the art making process. No experience in writing poetry is required. Introduction to Creative Writing is recommended.

BARD013       Introduction to Creative Writing: Short Fiction 

This course is an introduction to writing short fiction. We will consider fundamental elements of fiction and the relationship between narrative structure, style, and content, exploring these elements in students’ own work and in weekly assigned readings in order to develop an understanding of the range of possibilities open to the fiction writer. Weekly readings and writing exercises are designed to encourage students to explore the material and styles that most interest them, and to push their fiction to a new level of craft, so that over the semester their writing becomes more clear, controlled, and absorbing. Additionally, students will have individual conferences with the instructor to discuss their progress and interests. Half of our class time will be spent discussing student work and half will be spent discussing syllabus readings.

BARD013       College Topics in Literature: Shakespeare 

This course will give students the necessary tools to examine, enjoy and appreciate the poetry and plays of Shakespeare. We will consider his plays as both texts and as works intended for performance. Our readings will include plays that are representative of the different genres Shakespeare practiced, comedy, tragedy, romance, and history. We may, therefore, examine together such plays as A Midsummer Night’s DreamKing LearThe Winter’s Taleand Henry V. This course will provide students with the foundation for future explorations of Shakespeare’s works.

BARD013       College Topics in Literature: Major Authors: James Baldwin and Maya Angelou

In this course, we will explore a selection of work by two major American writers of the 20thcentury: James Baldwin and Maya Angelou. Both were of African descent and both were born in the 1920’s. James Baldwin and Maya Angelou were actually good friends. Their life experiences are intricately tied to their writings which address issues such as race, racism, segregation, whiteness, civil rights, activism, abuse, survival and the quest for acceptance, unity, and equality. These are all issues that continue to resonate with 21stAmerica. By reading nonfiction essays, poems, short stories, a novel, and an autobiography, we will explore both writers’ perspectives on America’s history and struggles as well as their hopes for the future.  The larger intent of the course is to move beyond an awareness of their creative & critical contributions. One of our “big questions” will be: to what extent are the ideas and messages of Maya Angelou & James Baldwin relevant & useful today?